Missouri Department of Insurance provides assistance, tips on damage

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Insurance is working with Missouri residents affected by recent severe weather. 

The department sent a consumer specialist to Festus Sunday as part of a multi-agency effort to assist those who wish to understand their insurance policies, and the process of filing a claim.

There are several tips available on the department's website for those who have been affected by severe weather and are still working to file a claim. 

The department asks residents to contact their insurance company as soon as possible once damage has been spotted. 

It also said it's important to make temporary repairs on the home to help prevent further damage, but to avoid making permanent repairs. Damage done after a storm may not be covered by an insurance policy and an insurance company may not reimburse a customer for damages if permanent repairs have been made. 

The department warns against going to auto repair shops and contractors that seem suspicious, and warns against letting contractors inspect any property without the property owner present. It also said to wait and pay any repair bills in full only after repair work has been completed.

The department asks that those who have questions or concerns about their insurance coverage to contact the department's consumer hotline (800-726-7390), or visit its website, insurance.mo.gov, for more information.